Gynaecology waiting lists in the UK have skyrocketed to over half a million patients, and the reason might be alarming. According to a health leader, doctors are often dismissing women’s health problems as “benign,” which means not harmful or serious. This dismissive attitude can increase waiting lists for conditions like endometriosis, prolapse, and heavy bleeding.
In the past two years, the waiting lists for these gynaecological conditions have gone up by 60%. It is a higher increase than in any other area of medicine. The president of The Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists (RCOG), Dr Edward Morris, expressed concern about institutionalised gender bias in the medical field. He pointed out that “benign” has been used too often in gynaecology, making these conditions seem less important and getting lower priority within the National Health Service (NHS).
Currently, the combined figure for women on gynaecology waiting lists in the UK is over 570,000. Dr Morris emphasises that the suffering caused by these conditions should not be downplayed or ignored. He believes that changing the language used to describe these conditions is essential to raise awareness about their significance and impact on women’s lives.
A report published by the RCOG in April highlighted the severity of the issue. It showed that gynaecology waiting lists in the UK had increased by more than 60% compared to before the pandemic. Additionally, number of women waiting for care for over a year in England had risen from 66 before the pandemic to nearly 25,000.
The report also made some recommendations to improve the situation. It called for a shift in the way gynaecology is prioritised as a speciality in the healthcare system. It includes avoiding the term “benign” to describe gynaecological conditions.
Dr Morris also called for more funding for research into women’s health and the establishment of clinics offering cervical screening, contraceptive implants, and advice on menopause and menstrual health.
The surge in gynaecology waiting lists in the UK is a cause for concern. The practice of dismissing women’s health problems as “benign” has contributed to the delay in care and treatment for many patients. It’s crucial to address this issue by giving proper attention and priority to women’s health conditions. Moreover, increased funding for research and specialised clinics can improve women’s healthcare and overall well-being.